Old Time Music is a Social Disease

Over the last 45 years, I've played for fun, and I've played for money.  Playing for fun is what it's all about as far as I'm concerned.  For the last 27 years I have traveled to Mountain View, Arkansas the third week of April for the Ozark Old Time Music Festival, an event that has been happening for over 40 years. The top photo is of some good friends and musicians:  Kurk Hunter & Bob Atchison (fiddles), Melissa Atchison (guitar) and their little girls (future pickers).  The Ozarks OTM Festival is always the third week of April.  In 2014 it will be happening April 18, 19, 20.  It's a small town built around music festivals, and the April event is my favorite.  This is not a "performance festival", it is a music gathering.  There are scores of jam sessions going on around town.  Most jams lean towards Bluegrass, Gospel, and other folk styles.  However, there is one core group of OT Musicians, sometimes as many as twenty of us, picking on the porch of the Wildflower B&B (formerly the Commercial Hotel).  They come from NC, KS, MO, AR, TX, OK, IL, WA and even CA (yep, that would be us).

Above:  Our wedding party and jam in January 2013. What a wonderful group of friends and musicians. Oh yeah, and there was a 1930 Gibson L-1 12-fret, a 1937 Martin 00-21, a 1933 Gibson L-00, a 1936 Martin 00-18, making beautiful music together with fabulous fiddles and other old, rare instruments. 

LEFT and BELOW: My good friend Frank Lynn Michael, a fabulous guitarist, and the most knowledgeable guitar historian I ever met. Lynn lost his battle with cancer on December 11, 2013 and will be sorely missed by all his many friends and family. Rest in Peace, Lynn.

All the members of The Imaginary String Band in Mill Valley, CA, 2006: Nick, Me, John, Pat and David.

Great Friends and Fiddlers from the Bay Area: John and Pat. John is also a great mandolinist and guitarist.

The San Francisco area is loaded with great Old Time Musicians.  Some of my favorites -   L: David Brown, C: Rick Trautner, R: Nick Robinson.

Somewhere near Julian, CA at a Mountain Man Rendezvous.  Give the fiddler a dram if you want him to keep fiddlin.  

The last PigAnkle practice, May 2003, just before I moved to California.  L; Kirk Hunter, C, David Allen, and of course, Yours Truly.

Above: David Brown, Richard Chance, Nick Robinson playing as a "partial" Imaginary Stringband, Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, 2007.

At Old Town San Diego with the Love of my Life, Christie.  Boy am I a lucky man, she loves this music and my guitar playing!

Mountain View, AR 2007. Kirk Hunter (L), Bob Atchison (LC), Dave Smith (RC), David Allen (R)  Fiddlin' on the Porch at the Wildflower B&B (the old Commercial Hotel, built 1898). A rare photo...just about everyone is standing!

 Above: PigAnkle, our band in Dallas, playing at Six Flags over Texas, 1989.  Kirk Hunter, Fiddle; David Allen, Banjo; I'm playing the 1930 Gibson L-00. 

Pick of the Lizard, San Diego, CA, 2009. Rick Johnson, Mando; Larry Edwards, Fiddle; JoAnn Koppany, Banjo.

Playing Jim Cadorette's "new" toys, a 1937 Martin 00-18H Sunburst as well as a 1929 Martin 00-21.  So you think we got the guitar bug bad? He drove to DFW airport just to show me his new guitar while I was there with a 3-hour layover.  

Here I am on my Mandolin, a 1918 Gibson A-2, with David Allen, a great fiddler, banjo, mando and guitar picker, playing my Martin. David is a good friend of mine in Dallas who got me hooked on the history of OTM. He is a serious collector of field recordings and hard to find recordings of old fiddlers. 

Gary Rounds (R) playing my 1937 Martin 00-21. I'm playing Jim Cadorette's 1937 00-18 H Sunburst.    Mountain View, AR, April 2007.

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